Earlier today, I read Deborah Ward's "High Sensitivity, Low Self-Esteem" blog post and found myself nodding in agreement. I also wanted to elaborate on one of her points. Read More
I think as an HSP child I ended up convicted about myself. The good in HSP's is often not validated which is where the self esteem issues come from. It may not necessarily be low self esteem as much as low confidence. If the good characteristics of empathy and integrity are devalued, how do you expect to survive and thrive? The HSP child will wonder about that giving rise to self doubt and anxiety.
I am an HSP and was raised by apes. My dad's response to his ineptitude continues to be "I just didn't know." So for all you parents out there raising an HSP and are unsure how to proceed: do something. Anything. Talk to them. Examine your own feelings about the issue. Talk to experts. Do a crazy fish dance, but do something. Inaction and ignorance are not an option. You have a moral duty to help your child understand themselves. Don't punk out.
Wow this a great article! I was a verrry sensitive child and honestly still am now as a young adult. I always thought I was weak or had bad self esteem but kind of felt like I didnt at the same time. Just beibg weak or having bad self esteem was what I though explained my sensitivity. This aticle hits the nail right on the head!! I have always found myself noticing even tge slightest most subconcious of things people do/say and being greatly affected by it(wether it be in a good way or no) but the three advice you gave for parents w/a sensitive child are sooo true and I can only hope parents read this! (side note:parents should reibforce their children as adviced in this article either way!! Just a highly sensitive child trully needs it more...)
I am grateful that this article worked for you! I am also a highly sensitive person, and know that this can be used as a competitive advantage, and that if you surround yourself with empowering people, places and things --- you will persevere and progress to be whoever you can be to be.
Thanks for a great peice! I too am a HSP and so is my young son. I do value his gifts fortunately, however they are causing him a lot of distress... it is indeed difficult to be sensitive when it appears the majority are less thoughtful. As an adult I’ve learned to manage my sensitivities for my mental health and well being. Its a bit harder to teach a kid who just wants to be like everyone else, or worse like his little sister who is highly resilient and not very sensitive.
I have felt like the trampled flower most of my life. I am surrounded by insensitive, amoral, selfish apes.
We may have just felt emotionally trampled. I am not so sure now that any harm was intended by the insensitive, amoral, selfish and savage apes that encompass us, I think it was just in their nature as well, much as sensitivity is in ours. They are who they are as well, by genetics and birth, thank God each day I am not one of them. I feel sorry for most of them, they really don't know what they don't know and cannot learn. I guess that is why in the past we were the scribes, educators and judges, therapists and humanitarians. Because we can feel compassion for those that have no compassion, love for those that do not know how to love, empathy for those that do not possess the trait. Perhaps we are the angels sent to earth to save them from killing each other off. Which they would, of course, as well as us, if not for the peacemakers, the empaths, the highly sensitive people like us.
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Maureen Healy is a popular author, speaker and expert working with parents and their highly sensitive children.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.